Technology Race

Jumping Onboard the Hyperloop Ride

hyperloop
Hyperloop tubes on display for the first test of the propulsion system last month in Las Vegas.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Even though many say it will never work, German companies don’t want to be left behind as Americans press ahead with new hyperloop technology.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Hyperloop capsules would travel at up to 760 mph on a cushion of air in vacuum-like tubes.
    • Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk says it will cost roughly $6 billion (€5.4 billion) to build a track between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
    • Siemens provided control engineering for the first Hyperloop mini-test facility in the Nevada desert.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

The idea is straight out of science fiction — to send travelers in a capsule from Los Angeles to San Francisco within half an hour, zipping through special tubes near the speed of sound.

That’s the basic concept behind Hyperloop, the high-speed transportation system envisioned by U.S. billionaire and SpaceX founder Elon Musk.

Up to now, though, the technology has been little more than an idea and sketches. And critics have mocked Mr. Musk’s plans for transporting people and goods via giant pneumatic-like tubes, calling them downright crazy.

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